Film Screenings: Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House

Inside Iconic Houses - Online Tour Program

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Van Doesburg Rinsema House

Welcome Rietveld's Van Daalen House!

Corberó Space: New Life for Hidden Jewel

Architect Harry Gessner Dead at 97

Icon Saved: Dorchester Drive House

Welcome Umbrella House!

Iconic Houses in the Netherlands – Berlage’s Masterpiece

Welcome Atelier Volten!

SPECIAL – Iconic Dreams - Sleep in an Iconic House!

SPECIAL - Vacances en France!

SPECIAL - Casas Icónicas en España!

SPECIAL – German Greats!

SPECIAL – Dutch Delights!

SPECIAL – Northern (High)Lights!

Iconic Houses in The Netherlands - Het Schip

Inside Iconic Houses - Tour of Maison Cazenave

Inside Iconic Houses Tours Vizcaya Museum & Gardens in Miami

Casa Masó Celebrates 10 Year Anniversary

Inside Iconic Houses tours Roland Reisley's Usonian Frank Lloyd Wright House

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Serralves Villa after restoration

Watch Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House Now On Demand

Portraits of the Architect - Interview with Gennaro Postiglione

Test Labs for New Ideas - Interview with Natascha Drabbe

Inside Iconic Houses - Isokon Building

Inside Iconic Houses - 16 December: Sunnylands with Janice Lyle

BCN-BXL Coderch-De Koninck - Beyond Time

New Chairman Architect Nanne de Ru on The Perfect Platform

Health and Home - Interview with Beatriz Colomina

A Life Less Ordinary – Interview with Valentijn Carbo

Invisible Women - Interview with Alice T. Friedman

Winy Maas on the Green Dip

Anita Blom on Experimental Housing of the 1970s

Women’s Worlds - Interview with Natalie Dubois

The Culture of Living - Interview with Robert von der Nahmer

Hetty Berens: A Fresh Take on Modernism

Niek Smit on Supporting Modern Heritage

Alice Roegholt on Amsterdam’s Working-Class Palaces

July is Iconic Houses Month

Save Maison Zilveli - Sign the Petition!

How a Building Tells a Story - Recorded Event

Toolkit for Owners of a Modern House

13 Aalto Sites Nominated for UNESCO World Heritage

Villa Beer At Risk - Sign the Petition!

Business Cards of Stone, Timber and Concrete in the Brussels Region 1830-1970

Exhibiting & Visiting Modernist Monuments

Fostering Well-Researched Responsible Design


Enjoy a virtual visit to the California House and a Q&A with architect Peter Gluck

Exhibition 'Modernism and Refuge'

A Hidden Gem of Postmodernism

New Centre for Historic Houses of India

An Online Chronicle of the Douglas House

Villa Henny, geometric style icon in The Netherlands

A Mendini temple in Amsterdam

IH-lectures USA & Canada Feb 2020 on Melnikov House

An Afternoon with the Glucks

Danish Moderns – Looking Back at Our Mini-Seminar

Venturo house complements Exhibition Centre WeeGee’s offering

Lecture report: Remembering Richard Neutra

Hôtel Mezzara and the Guimard Museum project

We welcome 13 new members!

BREAKING NEWS: 8 Wright Sites Inscribed on Unesco World Heritage List!

LECTURE 29 August - Raymond Neutra: My Father and Frank Lloyd Wright

Iconic Reads

SPECIAL – Iconic Artist Residencies

Our Badge of Honour

SPECIAL – Women & Iconic Houses

SPECIAL – Iconic Housing

Iconic Houses End Year Message

City-ordered rebuild of landmark house stirs debate: Appropriate or overreach?

Kohlberg House Restoration in Progress

Planned Demolition of Rietveld Homes in Reeuwijk

Renovation Gili House in Crisis

An Iconic Saga

Restoring Eileen Gray’s Villa E-1027 and Clarifying the Controversies

Modernism on the East Coast

Iconic Houses in Latin America

House Tours May 2018 

Expert Meetings

Terence Riley -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Philip Johnson

New era for Villa E-1027 and Cap Moderne

Jorge Liernur -KEYNOTE SPEAKER- on Latin American Modernism(s)

Restoring the past: The Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Home Studio

Behind the Scenes: Hendrick de Keyser Association

Latin America Special – Focus on Mexico

De Stijl in Drachten

Preserving the Nancarrow House-Studio

Meet the Friends - Nanne de Ru

Latin America Special – Focus on Brazil

Jan de Jong’s House is Latest Hendrick de Keyser Acquisition

Stay in a Belgian Modernist Masterpiece

In Berlin’s Modernist Network

Rietveld-Schröder House Celebrates De Stijl Anniversary

Meet Our New Foundation Board Members

Virtual Tour of a Papaverhof Home in 3D

Getty Grant for Villa E-1027

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11 Le Corbusier Homes now on Unesco World Heritage List

At home with Le Corbusier

Wright Plus 2016 Walk

Speaking Volumes: Building the Iconic Houses Library

Follow us!

Documentary La Ricarda

Rent a house designed by Gerrit Rietveld

Barragán House on Screen

Gesamtkunstwerk – An Icon on the Move

Triennale der Moderne 27 September - 13 October 2013

Prestigious Art Nouveau mansions in Brussels open

September 14 + 15: Heritage Days in Paris

June's New Arrivals: Museum Apartments

Iconic Houses is now on Twitter and Facebook

Corbu’s Cabanon: Reconstruction and Lecture

Projekt Mies In Krefeld: Life-sized model of the Krefeld Clubhouse

New arrivals: Spain special

MAMO: Le Corbu’s ‘Park in the Sky’ open 12 June

Annual Wright Architectural Housewalk: 18 May

Frank Lloyd Wright Homes on Screen

Message from the Editor

Neutra’s House on Screen

Melnikov House on Screen

Iconic Houses in the media

Message from the Editor

Eileen Gray House on Screen

Copy Culture

At Home in the 20th Century

New 20th century Iconic Houses website launches

Posted 22 July 2021

Invisible Women - Interview with Alice T. Friedman

Alice T. Friedman with the Farnsworth House in the background. 

Alice T. Friedman is an art historian and the Grace Slack McNeil Professor of the History of American Art and Co-Director of the Architecture Program at Wellesley College. She is also a curator, art critic and author. Her books include Women and the Making of the Modern House and American Glamour and the Evolution of Modern Architecture. For the online conference Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House, she talks about women as architects and clients in the first half of the 20th century.

What ground will your lecture cover?
I will focus on three case studies of women in Modernism, looking at Marion Mahony’s contribution to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Susan Lawrence Dana House, Eleanor Raymond’s house (or rather complex) for Natalie Hammond, and the Farnsworth House whose client was Edith Farnsworth. I will also relate Farnsworth to Tugendhat and Lily Reich.

All the women you mention have only relatively recently started to emerge from obscurity – why were they invisible for so long?
Although architecture is a collaborative process, the way in which people have analysed it has been based on the false notion of the superstar architect – a one-man show. That has to be unpacked, which is what is happening now, with credit finally being given to figures like Mahony, Perriand and Reich. It doesn’t help that women often focused on interiors, which have been neglected by scholars, or given smaller, less significant projects through sexism, or interrupted their careers to raise children. But the neglect of women’s roles is being reversed now, thanks to research and a greater understanding of the process and politics of architecture.

What else is shifting in how we see these Modernist houses?
The role of the client too is rightly receiving much more attention than it used to. In the 1990s, when I started researching the Farnsworth House, no one had ever asked about the client – most were amazed that the client was a woman, but in general Modern architectural history had been written by the architects. The clients were ignored. These days people – both men and women, researchers, curators, and house visitors – are more interested in how people lived in the houses, how they thought, and so on. In Edith Farnsworth’s role as client, for example, you see an interesting meeting of Modernism and modesty – the architect was all about transparency and impersonality, but she wanted her privacy and her personal touches.

What are you working on now?
A book called Poker Faces. It’s a series of case studies of Modern houses, mainly, that look fairly conventional but actually have very non-traditional programs. So, for example, houses for multiple individuals or queer households, rather than a conventional family.

Do you have a favourite Modern house?
I have so many! The Farnsworth House, for example, and Tugendhat, although I’ve never actually visited that one. But my current favourite is one that I very recently visited in Manchester, New Hampshire, which has just been renovated and opened to the public as part of the Currier Museum. The Kalil House, by Frank Lloyd Wright, is what he called a Usonian Automatic house, of which few were ever built. It’s truly extraordinary and built entirely from concrete blocks.

Toufic H. Kalil House, Frank Lloyd Wright, Manchester, New Hampshire,USA, 1955. Currier Museum of Art, photo via franklloydwright.org. 

How has the pandemic and lockdown influenced the way you feel about houses and home?
It’s made me realize how lucky we are when we can physically explore interesting or great architecture in person. Also, I think we are all more aware now of how much flexibility we need for multi-tasking, and also privacy, and how important it is to have storage space, screens and so on so we can tuck away our personal items for Zoom calls.

Jane Szita

Curious about the Iconic Houses Online Modules?
Watch the recording of this module through our WEBSHOP.
Check out the full program of lectures and five-part series of thematic videos about the Pioneers of the Dutch Modern House HERE.

Posted 22 July 2021